The U.S. Supreme Court issued two new opinions today (6/28).
United States v. Alvarez
The Court held that the Stolen Valor Act, 18 U.S.C. § 704, which makes it a federal crime to lie about receiving a military decoration or medal, is an unconstitutional violation of the first amendment’s free speech protections. Justice Kennedy wrote the plurality opinion for the Court, which was joined by Chief Justice Roberts, and Justices Ginsburg and Sotomayor. Justice Breyer wrote a separate concurrence, which was joined by Justice Kagan. Justice Alito filed a dissenting opinion, which was joined by Justices Scalia and Thomas.
National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius (Health Care Decision)
In an opinion written by Chief Justice Roberts, the Court upheld the Affordable Care Act, including the individual mandate requirement. The critical holding that garnered the approval of five justices was that the government could impose the mandate under its taxing power and was, therefore, constitutional. The Court’s opinion was joined in part by Justices Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan. Justice Ginsburg filed an opinion concurring in part, concurring in the judgment in part, and dissenting in part, in which Justice Sotomayor joined, and which was partly joined by Justices Breyer and Kagan. Justices Scalia, Kennedy, Thomas filed a dissenting opinion. Justice Thomas also filed a separate dissent
Information provided by SCOTUSBlog.